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Thread: Flint and Steel for Beavers and Cubs

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    Flint and Steel for Beavers and Cubs

    I have found that smaller children struggle with many Flint and Steels because they can not get enough power in the grip on the small handles.

    I am looking at getting some new Flint and Steels and I want to find some that are better suited to small hands.

    I have found these https://www.muddyfaces.co.uk/product...striker-large/ but they are very expensive (22).

    We have also used these Bear Grylls ones, but they are so nice they often don't come home and there is no way to label them! https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Gerber-Gr...-hiking&sr=1-1

    Just wondered if anyone else has found a better option.

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    Expecting flack but why should you be trying to equip Beavers and possibly cubs with flint and steel? It just seems a step too far. You even say that the youngsters are physically incapable of using such tools. Not being one to say that some activities should be left to the older sections but certain activities are themselves naturally ability limiting.

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    Sea Scout Leader richardnhunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boballan View Post
    Expecting flack but why should you be trying to equip Beavers and possibly cubs with flint and steel? It just seems a step too far. You even say that the youngsters are physically incapable of using such tools. Not being one to say that some activities should be left to the older sections but certain activities are themselves naturally ability limiting.
    Because it is fantastic fun for them

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    Quote Originally Posted by boballan View Post
    Expecting flack but why should you be trying to equip Beavers and possibly cubs with flint and steel? It just seems a step too far. You even say that the youngsters are physically incapable of using such tools. Not being one to say that some activities should be left to the older sections but certain activities are themselves naturally ability limiting.
    With the right tools they are more than capable.

    Teaching fire-skills is both good fun and it is an excellent grounding for Scouts. We try to get them comfatable around fire from the earliest age possible. We teach fire safety, but also fire theory and we teach them to take responsibility for a fire, from lighting it to putting it out.

    Also, if you teach with flint and steel from the start it is very unlikely that they will go home and start fires when they should not. If you teach them to play with matches it is much more likely that they will find some at home to play with too.

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    Medicationed BenOfThe12th's Avatar
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    You don't really mean flint and steel as that's a lump of rock struck with a chunk of metal.
    What you really mean is a ferrocerium rod with a striker.

    TBH it's a skill that requires practice.
    We use the cheap and cheerful end of the market, with the pressed steel strikers.
    These have a rough side and a smoother one. The rough side works great.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SMALL-FER...4AAOSwwj5b3wSb

    Works well for us..

    42782795_10156388650566068_3380752828095004672_n (1).jpg

    ** Warning ** I like my humour Very DRY, same as my Martinis, so don't take anything personally..

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    Assistant Beaver Leader Keith's Avatar
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    I've not even considered using flint and steel with Beavers, and i'm not sure if I would.

    The closest we've got to allowing Beavers to make flames or fire is when we've had them toasting marshmallows using tea lights and we have taught them how to light the candle using an (extra long) match.
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    Progression should start at the earlier sections and work up NOT the other way round. Younger sections should never be restricted in what they can do just because it is a "Scout" activity. Use cotton wool and let the Beavers set fire to it, they love it!

    I'm a Scout Leader and I would love to have Cubs moving up with basic fire lighting skills, then I could move on to fire pistols, bows and other fun activities.

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    Senior Member Shaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Progression should start at the earlier sections and work up NOT the other way round. Younger sections should never be restricted in what they can do just because it is a "Scout" activity. Use cotton wool and let the Beavers set fire to it, they love it!

    I'm a Scout Leader and I would love to have Cubs moving up with basic fire lighting skills, then I could move on to fire pistols, bows and other fun activities.
    Absolutely, by the time they get to Scouts, they should be able to light a fire, using most methods, we can then focus on what works, quickly and which to use in the appropriate circumstances.

    Ferry rod and striker is good fun, but it is quicker to use a lighter.
    So if you have time to play then use a rod, or other method, if you need a fire quick, turbo jet lighter every time.

    It can be frustrating going through the basics of how to use a match with a Scout...


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    Cotton wool with vasoline worked into it takes little more than a single spark and will burn for long enough to get a fire going. I use a single hand orange thingy that you hold and push onto a rock with the cotton wool on top. Works pretty much every time, albeit I do it with Cubs

    Ps - Shaun - will be putting it to good use next weekend for OnB. Tilleys out if you fancy it 😀?
    Chris

    Akela - 8th Mirfield
    Heavy Woollen District


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    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun View Post
    It can be frustrating going through the basics of how to use a match with a Scout...
    I've had Explorers who've not known how to light a fire in the past(!!!) and more than one of them ("Skip always lights the fire")

    Defininitely get Beavers to have a go with flint and steel. As others have said start them early and it helps them learn that things take a bit of effort to get the end result (and mummy and daddy aren't going to do it for them)
    To get more kids we need more adults - are we getting the message yet?

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    I have heard of people gluing the ferro rod into a larger piece of wood to use as a much easier to hold handle

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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    I wouldn't say my Cubs have a problem with the handle size (we use the mountain warehouse green handled ones as they are cheap enough to buy a number of sets) - its more the technique of getting the angle right to scrape hard enough. We do include other stuff like safe use of matches but "flint and steel" is much more fun!
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    Beavers come up to us saying that they're not allowed to play with matches. I explain that we're not 'playing', we're 'practicing'.

    We were camping this weekend. One of the favourite 'free-time activities' (we have a list of free-time activities they can choose and try, with a couple of boxes full of the kit to do them) was using a flint & steel to light a candle using a cotton wool ball as tinder. The older Cubs instructed the younger ones in doing the challenge. I thought that was a pretty good picture of what Scouting is.
    John Russell
    ex-CSL now ACSL 1st Pinhoe Exeter Devon
    Cubs don't care how much you know, but they need to know how much you care.

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    We have tried the cheaper firesteels 3-4 very similar to the ones linked above and they are ok but they are not as good as the light my fire firesteels we also have https://www.amazon.co.uk/Light-My-Fi...df_B00440VJMU/. The rod is a bit softer and the indented plastic handles mean they are much more likely to hold it correctly. In practice beavers and cubs are more successful with the light my fire ones which need less pressure to work successfully. No real evidence they wear out much faster and they are certainly worth the extra money. The younger beavers still struggle a bit to get the pressure on the striker and need more supervision but can do it.

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    Agree with others, it's more technique than anything else.

    With Scouts, I think it's a good idea to have an element of things not being perfect, that way they need to adapt what they've got to hand to make things work. If they're in the middle of no where, they may not be able to order a different type of flint and steel - I'm terribly sorry, I meant a ferrocerium rod with a striker - via Amazon etc.


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